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KEEP CLOSE WATCH ON LAWMAKERS

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The Supreme Court recently decided that a law passed by the Utah Legislature favoring US WEST was unconstitutional. This is not the first time a law favoring special interests was found to be unconstitutional.

There are valuable lessons to be gained from this ruling. First, we need to regulate gifts to legislators. It is time to stop special-interest campaign contributions and lobbyists entertaining Utah's legislators with free meals and on the golf course. This case is a prime example of why undue influence must end.Second, the Legislature and the citizens it is supposed to serve need to be continually on guard. We must prevent further attempts to have taxes levied that would subsidize utility capital investments here and elsewhere.

Third, we need to tell our representatives to vote against attempts to deregulate our phone company at least until such time as there is real competition.

Only if we learn these lessons well and keep a constant oversight will we get fair and reasonable rate regulation as the Supreme Court has decided we deserve.

Barbara G. Toomer

West Valley City